How to use Social Media to get a great eat in NYC??

It was this summer that I got an internship in NYC. Yes, overwhelming New York with thousands, if not tens of thousands of restaurants. From Pizza places, sushi, Italian, Chinese, one, two or three Michelin stars, Japanese Omakase, and hundreds of fast-food places, yes including Shake Shack, Chik-fil-a, among others.

I had several goals for the summer. First off, professionally, I wanted to expand my network, have a great summer internship, learn and gain new experience in the Tech Industry. I worked at, a Priceline Group company. This was a first big step to enter the travel industry. Travel means for me, visiting new places and dining out. By the way, Priceline owns and operates Open Table. My best friend for the summer.

First, I decided to look for an app where I could make reservations and gain points. No brainer, Open Table. I knew it already, I had it and had just some couple hundred points. Each reservation you make, no matter what time, what restaurant or if its rush hour, they give you 100 points. After 2000 points you can get a gift card applied to any Open Table restaurant, an Amazon Gift card or other perks. After 5000, you get $50. Also, this is a great way to check reviews and official photos of the restaurant. I usually use reviews from Google and sometimes Zagat and then go to reserve on Open Table. There are always better apps depending on what you want to make of it. For example:

1. Reservations: Open Table
2. “Good” / Trustworthy Restaurants: Zagat
3. Reviews: Google (Never below 4.0 stars)
4. Chose places and/or dishes: Instagram: Tryit.Wortheat (more on this later)

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Second, I started looking for places, restaurants, social media apps that gave me ideas of where to go. Zagat? Micheline Guide? Too expensive, too ordinary? Is Zagat really worth it? Is it what it used to be ten years back. Now a day EVERY “good” restaurant is Zagat rated. Is it trustworthy?
The first thing I did was use a very “complicated” but very effective way of marketing. Word-of-mouth… However, I asked three different people that lived in NYC and are big fans of good eating, and in the restaurant list of the three of them, only 3-4 were among the three list. My point, there are way too many “good” restaurants in NYC. After narrowing my list down by looking at restaurant websites and Instagram, I managed to get a list of the restaurants I was going to go.

Third, I use IG the most when trying to look for food. Who in this class, hasn’t taken a picture of their food and somehow uploaded to IG, FB or sent it through text message? This is a trend among Millennials. Not sure if the food is good or not but the photo will be taken. I looked for many accounts that tried to showcase ONLY good restaurants. I found a couple that can be helpful for readers here. Tryit.WorthEat, eatdeliciousnyc, and sofiaeatsnyc.
Some accounts have thousands and thousands of followers, but what I learned here, is that it does not matter the number of followers but the content. As I have said it before content is King. After looking for several accounts that would help me figure out where to eat, these were also recommended by a couple of local neighborhood friends of NY.

Fourth, New York is a crowded place. Shake Shack at Madison (the original and first Shack) had a line of 100 tourists waiting in line for an average burger. Today’s world of technology, apps, and online ordering made my life VERY simple. What tourists don’t know is that if you download the app beforehand, you can order and just pick up. This way I never had to wait for my lunch. The same with Chick-Fil-A. Imagine the place near Times Square, the line went out the door, around the block.



Finally, there are always many reasons to order in. NYC had Uber Eats, amazingly useful app, together with Amazon Restaurants. Easier to order than GrubHub, faster, cheaper and the workers or delivery guys much better. We have heard about GrubHub and the huge business they are doing, but here comes Amazon with Whole Foods and other couple apps that can compete with the biggest.

In conclusion, I am an avid eater and traveler, and if one thing I need to get right is where I sit and eat my lunch and dinner. There are millions of accounts you could use for food or drink but only a couple that are really useful and trustworthy. So next time you travel to NYC, check out those accounts and you will not regret it.




  1. s_courtney18 · ·

    This blog was very fun to read, Diego! For some reason I always think of Open Table as a reservation system you should look at after deciding where you will be eating–I never knew it was also a useful search tool to find good restaurants. I also find a lot of great recommendations through word-of-mouth, and a lot of times amongst my friend group, these recommendations actually come from looking at food Instagrams. It’s very interesting how there are so many different combinations of how to find a worthwhile eatery nowadays!

  2. briandentonbc · ·

    Fun post! I never realized how many food sites are truly out there. We tend to think only of the main 2 or 3 review sites, but you brought up several other sites that I had never heard of before. In a city like New York with so many different options out there, and so many different sources of information on these places (as you mentioned) we have a better idea of what we will be encountering at a restaurant than we ever have before. It was cool to see how you took all these different sources of information in in order to be able to capitalize on the places in the city that would be the best experience for you in your summer there

  3. kaitlinardiff · ·

    I love this detailed description of how choosing a restaurant now requires such an investigative process, whereas when our parents were our age they simply just went to the closest place. So many food Instagrams now are monetized as restaurants pay users to post pictures of their meals in exchange for a hefty discount. One of my friends gets free Baked by Melissa cupcakes shipped to her each week, just so that she can post a picture! I used to be a part of Spoon University, and multiple restaurants, such as Boston Burger Co. and Pressed Juicery, would offer us discounted/free meals in exchange for writing an article for them. They know that offering us a free meal is much cheaper for them than hiring a social media marketer, and with us it gives them publicity for a whole college campus. The restaurant experience has transformed and it’ll be interesting to see how it continues to evolve with innovations like Amazon’s new restaurant delivery, meal plan services like Blue Apron, and more.

  4. mattwardbc · ·

    Awesome post, Diego. I am a huge fan of food blogs, specifically Eater as they have sites for the majority of major cities in the US. I also love how some individual have become celebrities just off of food. Today, awesome chefs like Mario Batali can connect with their fans and share what they are eating on a daily basis. This allows people to eat like the some of the best chefs in the world.

  5. Yvette Zhou · ·

    It is very interesting to use different social media apps finding foods! Nice to see your studies of different food social media. I do need your suggestions next time to NYC! And this is the first time that I heard about Amazon Restaurant. I think restaurants are learning to do digital marketing via social media and apps which is a new way for them and for the customers. The scores and reviews do help customers to pick up the restaurants but sometimes they are biased from some unreal comments. I think it is social media’s responsibility to ensure the real scores and reviews and hope it will be improved in the future.

  6. Nice post. I remember the days when you needed to ask a local for a recommendation for a good restaurant. Nowadays when people ask me, I typically just turn to Trip Advisor and Yelp to aid in my search.

  7. emmaelennon · ·

    your Instagram comments remind me of @scourtney18‘s post earlier this semester…in the battle of appearance vs taste online, who wins? also interesting to hear your thoughts on zagat…do we trust the opinions of everyday people–strangers even–more than an official organization? what are the merits/risks associated with that, especially considering bias/hype/regional tastes?

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